Domestic space opera roundtable!

I wear many hats. One of the hats is Articles Editor at Strange Horizons. The roundtable I organised just got published! And yes, even in the future, people are people.

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Announcement

My YA fantasy will be titled FIRE HEART. It is going to be published by Scholastic Asia.

Life is so ephemeral and transient…

… Please cherish it. Go hug your loved ones. Drop someone a note that you care.

feather

Asian Birds & Beasts is now out!

Only 1.99, Insignia: Asian Birds & Beasts is out, including ‘Vermillion Nights’, a story set in the Starfang universe.

Where I was asked a couple of questions…

Mini-interview with the Future Fire. 😀

I *arted*!

The Future Fire approached me to ask if I would illustrate for one of their awesome poems and I said yes. So, here’s Daphne’s Grove (read it, it’s beautiful!). The poem is lovely to work with, with gorgeous visual imagery.

Sunday thoughts about protecting ourselves against harassers *in* the community

(Taken from my Twitter thread, expanded and edited for clarity)

I want better protection against and from people who also engage in stalking and using multiple accounts to harass/stalk/intimidate vulnerable and marginalised people. Likewise, I would also like protection from and against people who harass via vicious reviews and trolling etc.

This is easier said than done, however. I would like to see more protection against and from people who are perceived as paragons of virtue in their communities, but are known to victims as harassers and Not Nice People.

Yet, what I have seen again and again is the community at large supporting and still validating harassers and bullies, simply because their work is awesome or they are massively talented. They keep winning awards and accolades. Why?

What frightens me is the level of chicanery and lying these harassers will engage in private just to proxy recruit people into their fold. Yeah, you might argue it’s human nature. But it’s disgusting human nature and something we can consciously fight against. Talent doesn’t essentially mean these people have good hearts or moral values.

Imagine the level of intimidation and fear to silence a victim – and in many industries, “don’t rock the boat” means still being able to hold onto your livelihood. Nobody’s speaking out, because they want to protect themselves and remain in the circles. Nobody’s speaking out or risking their careers. Victims are mostly left unprotected. Harassers ultimately erode levels of trust in the community and amongst people. The idea of having allies (or even friends) slowly disappears when the victim realises they are literally on their own.  This lack of support for the victim harms them more than anything. They will spend years trying to regain their trust in people.

Similarly, I am also talking about the mean girls level of bullying, not just sexual harassment. It’s like high school and nobody stands up to the bullies simply because of fear, because the bullies are popular and part of the cool kids clique. Everybody wants to jockey for position and sit with them, because they are so cool (and knowing them will let you into circles of power etc). We need more courage to stand against such bullying, please. Bullies mostly get away because they are also super manipulators and are extremely selective when it comes to victims and targets. They might be very nice to you, possibly the Bestest Friend ever, but they present a different face to their intended victim. You might argue everyone’s problematic. That’s a copout in my opinion. If everyone is problematic, it will be a slippery slope in the end. “Forgiving” the harasser because they “fucked up badly” will only endanger future victim(s). “People change!” is a nice band-aid sort of counter-argument as well. It’s not simply just an overnight thing. These bullies and harassers have been doing this for years.

Therefore, how do we protect ourselves against harassers in the community? Block, cut them off from our lives, dissociate ourselves from people (who might be our friends too) who support them in public as well in privately. It’s hard to do, but we need to make a stand against harassment. Otherwise, it will still persist.

(Note: The communities I am talking are not ideal communities where they are based on trust, love and openness. In the future, perhaps, we might be the community we want to be. As we know, human frailities and agendas will often come in the way)

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